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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  August 20, 2014 7:00am-8:31am EDT

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immigration. and then we will focus on the housing act signed by president johnson in 1965. ♪ host: good morning, everyone. attorney general eric holder today has traveled to missouri to oversee the justice department investigation in the shooting of 18-year-old michael brown. the nation's top prosecutors oenbned an open letter to civilians and missouri asking for an and violence. it has satisfied some but others are assuming whether the president himself should know to ferguson. we will get your take on that question this morning. here are the phone numbers --
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also, the fourth line is for missouri residents. or can also send us a tweet go to president tong the go to ferguson, missouri himself in order to calm the situation there. and mark a path forward. the hill newspaper reports that the white house is has not ruled out sending the president to ferguson.
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it goes on to say -- we turn to you. what do you think?
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should president obama go to ferguson, missouri? a republican caller is up first. caller: no, he should not. is blunt and quick -- thinks this is a psychological operation. he wants to pull martial law on the entire country and that's why they have the militarized police. the governor and the national guard, the situation with the unarmed peopleng so this is a pandora's box that has opened up there in caller: host: what about the coming weeks after it calms down. caller: it's not going to calm down. you have to face reality. people are coming from other cities. america is on financial life support.
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we are heading toward a race war. he wants to do this anyway. host: ron, miami, florida, democratic caller, what do you think? caller: let's not talk politics like the first caller. let's get to the issue. since the late 1990's, it started with the new york police force at some of the other big city police forces who were sent to israel to be trained military style. host: what is your evidence of that? amy goodman on "democracy now. host: ok. pittsburgh, pennsylvania, independent caller, what do you think? caller: i don't think he should. it's a big racket. host: sorry about that.
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the bloomberg website from its editors has this piece this morning --
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samantha in akron, ohio, independent caller, what do you think? caller: i don't think the president should go. there are enough people there. eric holder is going there. they are investigating. racism is something that we have lived with since our country's inception. i don't see it going away anytime soon. -- ok, you don't think a speech or his presence could help trigger conversation? caller: i really don't. he has talked about other incidents that have occurred and he stressed how we must come together and we thought his election would bring us together havet has seemed to brought us further apart and i think you should let the people who are in charge of law enforcement and investigation
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handled the situation. heart atand from his some opportunity, he might express his wishes -- [no audio]
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caller: this is almost orwellian. haven't we realized that this diversity is an endless source of strife and tension throughout the world and it can be the source of bloodshed and it will only get worse. we ignore on the periphery of our situation the constant between blacks and mexicans going onto to schools and prisons or in the streets and the warfare going on between different groups. we are afraid to talk about it. we talk about it being white people only. let's also talk about the fact that while this kid was shut come about 24 black kids were shot in chicago that same week. that's where obama should go. let's are member that 85% of interracial violence and crime every year is black on white. it is whites who are the victim of violence, hate, a lot of egregious hate crimes against whites are never reported. host: where do you get those statistics? taylor appeared on your show in 1999 with a color of crime study from the national crime victims survey and fbi statistics. that is from your own show. host: that was 15 years ago.
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caller: it has probably gotten worse, good morning, greta. i don't know what the solution is but the one thing we have to say is let's stop this george orwell stuff and stopped isching kids that diversity not a source of strife. maybe we should try to assimilate the people that are here and black people and white people should remember we are brothers but we have been together for 400 years and we need to come together. host: birmingham, alabama, democratic caller. there: good morning, when is a crisis in the world, the president delegates high-profile people to go into those trouble spots and can be heard. sharpton, erical holder, i'm glad he is going down to investigate but the president has mayor william bell 3 .
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i would encourage the president .o get anyone he can these are the kind of people that these people want to hear from. i was proud in 2008 and encourage people to go vote. young men were voting for obama. they don't have as great an appreciation for him as you might tank. i was in the game for 14 years. encourage -- i would
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encourage president obama to get michael jordan and oprah, these are the kind of people that the violent amide -- element will listen to. the people who can connect with these young people nestled the president needs. he does not need to go down there to deal with this. he needs to do with the middle east. this is a crisis for these young people. put the future on the front line. sunday, georgetown university professor michael dyson talked about the need for leadership from the white house in ferguson, missouri and made his remarks on sunday's cbs will face the nation." [video clip] >> this president knows better than most what happens in poor communities that have been antagonized historically by the hostile relationship between black people and the police department. it is not enough for him to,
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national television and pretend there is a force moral equivalency between police people who are armed and black people who are vulnerable constantly. in his to use his bully pulpit to step up and articulate this is a vision, not necessarily from public policy alone. eric holder is doing a tremendous job in filling in those gaps but we need presidential leadership and he needs to step up to the plate and be responsible. host: that was from "face the nation." he says the president needs to step up. from "the washington post" -
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a little bit more from the "st. louis dispatch" piece by the attorney general, eric holder.
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jerry from harmony, north carolina, independent caller. should the president go to ferguson, missouri? caller: good morning. i would like to get a couple of comments in.
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no, i don't think he should go to missouri. look around the country at what's going on in the world and over in syria and iraq and libya, egypt, israel -- absolutely not. he has handled those things over there terribly and look what's happened over there. he needs to stay out of missouri. get back on air force one a go back to washington this morning and go to the rose garden and apologize to the american people and the people around the world for being such a failure and he should resign. we should accept his resignation. host: did you vote for the president? the first time and the second time i did not. host: california, democratic caller -- caller: don't cut me off, please. i would like to say that, number one, president obama is an
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african and the people in america -- the african-americans are black jews. a.d., a general who was a roman and his son titus of rome and the roman army put an end to the jewish state, the black jewish state. ever since then, there has been inhite supremacy aura america and all over the earth because the white man rules the earth. this is what everything is so messed up because he has taken the word of god and turned it backwards. host: frostburg, maryland, democratic caller. caller: good morning. i hope you don't cut me off either but i am a vietnam veteran. thing ins kind of
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vietnam. the last century, all over planet earth, the people drove northwest european supremacy laws out of their lives. yesterdayt fox news and they were talking against this kid who was killed in missouri. also, i turned around after that and they started talking about the guy who was beheaded in the middle east. it was a totally different comparison. either way, it it doesn't matter. like the gentleman said before me, the roman imperial supremacy is destroying america's democracy. host: can the president do anything? caller: if you see how people treat our president and this
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i am a republican sun-times and the democrats sometimes. i have never disturbed -- disrespected any of my presidents. samething here is the reason that people have been kicked out all over the world from europe and north america, people are tired of it. host: we are asking you whether the president should go to ferguson, missouri. should he calm the tensions there? some are saying the president should make that trip. we will keep getting your thoughts this morning but first, some other headlines. a couple of callers have brought up the beheading of an american journalist which is the front page of "usa today."
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here's a statement from the national security council spokesperson who says -- on the situation in iraq, there is this headline --
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that is also the front page this morning of "the wall street journal." and then the situation in ukraine -- "the new york times" has this headline -- . .
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holder and the fbi and the
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people there, the government there in missourshould make sure that this is a very open that shows exercise the rule of law and how it should work on the people should understand that, too. they are saying the guy is guilty already. you cannot have the rule of law if you'd just trample all over everybody's rights. that is on both sides. the police cannot trample over the rights of the people. they have an issue that should be addressed. what everybody needs to understand is that the rule of law should take precedent and i solvethat will, i hope, the issue where everybody can agree that's what should happen. host: new york, independent caller, good morning. caller: good morning, i don't
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think president obama should go to missouri. much tension going on in missouri right now. he will donk anything by doing there. -- by going there. see themericans, we police officers -- not all police officers are bad. who have so many officers are racist and are on the police force. when you have a racist mentality a black area, of course they will be scared. many of these guys are scared because they are working in an environment where they are not used to. have this mentality because you don't respect black
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as far asgeneral, these racist people on the police force, those are the people who are giving the police force a bad name. all policeing officers are racist but you have some that are racist on the force. host: we will be talking about the role of law enforcement coming up on "washington journal " in about 50 minutes or so. "the st. louis dispatch" as the headline --
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you have "the springfield news leader." and then also you have the "news press." we will ask our next guest coming up on the "washington journal" we will talk to eugene o'donnell who is a former police officer and a john jay college criminal lecturer. your thoughts
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this morning on whether president obama should go to ferguson, missouri to try to quell the violence there and talk about the issue of race. we keep getting your thoughts on that but first, the "san antonio express" has this headline about the governor, rick perry. shot of the mug governor turning himself in yesterday but he said he would fight this with every fiber of his being. antoniofrom "the san press." then you have "the monitor" with the headline -- star" with theey headline -- by the way, the executive
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director of the texas democratic party rights the opposing view of the usa today on this case against governor perry saying it was more than just hard politicking. he said it was abusive power by a politician to shut down the unit investigating public corruption and fraud. "usa today" follows up by saying -- the opposing view is from will hailer. the view from "usa today" we will go with mural in
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florida, republican caller. caller: hi, i don't think the president should go. he is not even handling the country that well. . . caller: hi. i would like to say that eric
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holder going out there may be a good idea, if you would go out there and not focus on racism and focus on the race that they're complaining about, okay? parents sitting at home at night and giving them an education so the black people, as you call them, can get better jobs, instead of them out watching games and playing and doing whatever they're doing, sitting at home with the children and getting them an education. rick perry, now, this is kind of strange, because all it is we're thinking of the democratic party at home, okay, is a way to hush him. he is a good contender. he has strong values. host: i'll leave it there. mike, akron ohio, independent caller. caller: i'm calling to support the protesters. i support them all the way. with one exception. i do wish they would stop the
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protests either at dark or at midnight. i was a teenager in the 1960s. i recall all the protestors in the daytime. i believe that they had a chance last -- i think last thursday night was a peaceful night ferguson. they should have got up friday morning and maybe ronen johnson should have commended them for a peaceful night, and friday morning say we need to restore curfew, we recommend you go home at dusk or midnight and at least take your kids home. there's no need for eight or 9-year-old kids out after dark. school started right now. they're delaying the school year. host: from cnn reporting this morning, they delayed it a week. school is supposed to start monday. it's the same day that the family announced they would be holding the funeral for michael brown. you got a grand jury that is being called today, will begin
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its work. and that can take weeks. so mike i'm wondering, given that there are events that are coming up, and that the tensions don't seem to be dying down, should the president make an effort as some are saying? caller: i don't think he needs to show up. i don't know what good that would do. unfortunately there are too many people in this country who do not give him the respect he deserves. i'm glad eric holder is coming to town. whether obama shows up or not i don't think makes much difference. one last comment about governor perry. if he wants on get out of trouble, he needs to deal with john boehner. host: i'm going to leave it there. "the new york times" this morning, front page, peter baker's piece, writing on the front page. they write about this photo released about the white house last week. it shows the president talking
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with attorney general eric holder in martha's vineyard, august 14th, and this is what the two reporters write about this picture. >> they come at it from fundamentally different backgrounds and points of view. mr. holder, 63, is the one leaning forward. both in the photograph released by the white house and on the issues underlying the crisis ferguson, missouri. a child of civil rights era he grew up shaped by the images of violence, and joined sit ins at colombia university. now in high office he pushes for policy changes and is to fly wednesday to ferguson to personally promise justice in the case of a black teenager fatally shot by a white police
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officer. mr. obama is the one seeming to hold back in the photograph, as if seeking to understand how events could get so out of hand. he was too young and removed to experience the turmoil of the 1960s, growing up in a multiracial in hawaii. as he seeks balance, he wrestles with the ghosts of history. failed to exercise. so that in "the new york times" this morning about that photograph that was released by the white house on august 14t august 14th. elie in fayetteville, georgia, democratic caller. should president obama go to ferguson, missouri? caller: no, i don't think he should. he should have somebody representing him. the problem i have every time something like this happens, we get out there and we march and protest. the main thing we don't do is we do it to ourselves. we have enough money now we can
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make a difference. we don't understand. every race coming in this country real good but us. we are the only race coming here to do what? to improve someone else's life. and we don't -- we can do better if we work together. getting everybody rich but ourselves. host: virginia, janice, a republican caller, where you from? what's the city? caller: little place called ladies first it west virginia. i was a state trooper in the late 60s. i'm 77. we were -- a group of us got together the night the riots started in baltimore. the troops came in and he would to us to disburse and i saw armored vehicles go down the street in the late '60s. my husband was sent to the
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eastern shore for riots down there. he was there about a week. he came home and said to me if they fired at us, we were supposed to use another street. we were told to take the dogs out of time. at the time the state police might have had five dogs. he came home and said to me, i don't have a job. if i can't arrest the bad guys, i don't have a job. and he left the state police and went back to college. and you're going to lose a lot of good policemen over this. my problem is we have not learned to deal with this since the late '60s. it's ridiculous. host: given that -- caller: he's our president. host: i was talking over you when you said that about the president. what do you think, does he have -- caller: i think the president should go there. he's my president, too. i don't want anything to happen to this man. host: okay. all right. we'll go to jake in tallahassee, florida. hi, jake. caller: hi.
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how you doing? i believe president obama should go to ferguson, with the relationship between police and the residents there already. if he were to go and say something that would uplift everybody i think that that would help the situation. host: okay. all right. and you think he can play that role. caller: he's our president. people don't necessarily like him too much right now, but the bottom line is he still the most powerful man in the country. and i think he does have the ability to do something positive for the people ferguson right now. host: all right, jake. we'll go to lawyerel, maryland, democratic caller. help me with your name. caller: labryca coleman. i think president obama should not go to ferguson. he has eric holder. eric holder is our point person in this country for justice, and i am positive, because of my
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personal experience with him, that he will do the right job. and as far as president obama, he's the best. and that goes out to all c-span callers, and we thank you. host: all right. on attorney general eric holder's record from "the new york times" this morning, under mr. hole deer the justice department opened nearly two dozen such investigations into police departments, more than twice as many were opened in the previous five years, according to the department data. so mr. holder has looked into the conduct of police departments more than the previous five years under mr. holder's leadership. wedgewood, maryland, independent caller, hi, tyrone, go ahead. caller: hi. i was calling to -- no, i don't think the president should go down to missouri. i don't think there's much he can do. if they want to change first of
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all they need to address that only 6% of the population to represent themselves, and also there are offices running unopposed, which need to be addressed. and on top of that, i want to address the police training. the police training has become so militant that they see individuals as objects, so when they shoot to eliminate a threat, shooting basically to eliminate an object as opposed to individual. i think they should look at these before they pull the gun, should i taser him? they don't make any kind of decision like that. one more thing about the cops training, i think they need to incorporate some diverse training into it. also with interpersonal skills, stuff like that. host: we're going the talk about that coming up next on the "washington journal" in a few minutes. i want to show you a video message put out by democratic
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missouri governor jay nixon yesterday on the situation ferguson. here is some of what he had to say. and i call upon them to meet those expectations. finally, once we have achieved peace ferguson and justice for the family of michael brown, we must remain committed to rebuilding the trust that's been lost, mending what's been broken. and healing the wounds we've endured. this is hard. nothing about this is simple. we won't always get it right, but we're going to keep trying because ferguson is a test, a
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test not just for the people of this community, but for all americans. and it's a test we must not fail. last week i met with and prayed with the mother of michael brown. she has lost a son who she can never bring back. but what we can do is work together to ensure that michael brown's death is not remembered as a tragedy that sparked a cycle of violence and distrust, but rather marks the beginning of a process of healing and reconciliation. so i ask that we continue to stand together as we work to achieve justice for michael brown, restore hope and peace to the streets of ferguson, and march together for the future of greater opportunity for all of
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us. host: that is the governor of missouri yesterday in a video message put out talking to the residents of ferguson about the situation there. the protestors continued last night. the family of michael brown announcing that the funeral will be held monday. eric holder is traveling there today. the attorney general will meet with law enforcement, fbi, as he -- as the justice department oversees that investigation. and some are calling on president obama himself to head to ferguson, missouri. on, which is he had headed up by cline, from "the washington post," why obama won't give the ferguson speech his supporters want. they believe with good reason that he widens them.
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>> the backlash was fierce. obama ended up inviting gates for a beer summit. nor is obama to bridge the red blue divide anymore. presidents are polarizing figures, and obama is more of a polarizing president than most. there is a picture of the beer summit that many of you remember that president obama held at the white house. should president obama go to ferguson, missouri? mario, east immediate owe new york, independent caller. caller: hi. good morning. enjoy the show every morning. first of all, that's one reason for him to go, but i think he would look pretty bad golfing in missouri. i don't know if african-americans would like that. why does he have to go? he's sending eric holder. he exercised power.
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the guy was practically reading a script, governor nixon, and they have the -- they still have the troublemakers coming down from chicago. so you're going to go there as a crowning achievement. this has nothing to do with michael brown. this is the democrats are going to exercise power, they want to flip the city, create a whole new wave of agitators. this president is horrible. and one thing that -- why would president obama go down to missouri? these are african-american people that have been here for generations. he was hazed in hawaii, as you read the recall a. he was raised by a white mother and white family. 60% of the people in east st. louis, right next to ferguson, 60% of the black people are unemployed. he has done nothing for black people. it's good to get a riot going, you can exploit a situation,
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create chaos. so maybe there's a golf course in missouri he can go to. i would love to see him do that. host: all right. greg, bryce lake, wisconsin, republican caller. caller: hi. how you doing? i don't understand, for me it's -- i know there's unrest and until i heard the autopsy report about the six shots that mr. brown took, i don't agree with that at all. but to me, it's -- i've heard the comment said that the economy in ferguson is bad but i don't understand why they're trashing a third of the businesses there is going to improve their economy or change the decision or the outcome. and sending government officials down there, this may -- this type of situation happens in, alaska, florida, oregon, tennessee, kentucky, but they don't send eric holder down there or the president doesn't go there. he rarely goes to places where there is massive natural dedisasters. host: you don't -- do you think eric holder should not be going?
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caller: i don't think that's right. i don't think ad if recall official should go down there. i agree with the fbi and i think they need guidance and help with the investigation. but i think wasting taxpayer dollars to send a federal he official that gets paid as much as mr. holder does, they should be dealing with other factions that are more important for the entire country, not just a community. a community needs help, of course, but it boggles the mind of a president that ran on let's reduce spending. excuse me -- host: all right, greg. coming up next we're going to talk about the role of the police and the national guard in all communities, specifically in ferguson, missouri. and then our great society series continues today with a discussion on president johnson's push for changing the nation's immigration laws. the president signed the immigration and naturalization act into law at the foot of the statue of liberty on october 3,
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1965. we'll get to all of that right after this break. here is a great read to add to your summer reading list, sundays at eight, a collection of stories from some of the nation's most influential people over the past 25 years. >> i knew there was a risk in the bowe shame i and national and i decided to he that it because whether it's an illusion or not, i don't think it is. it helped my concentration, it stopped me being bored, stopped other people being boring to some extent. it would keep me awake, make the evening go on longer, to enhance the moment. if i was asked would i do it again, the answer is probably yes, i would have quit earlier possibly, hoping to get away
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with the whole thing. easy for me to say, of course. if i say i would do it again to you, the truth is it would be hypocritical of me to say no, i would never chance the stuff if i had known, because i did know. everyone knows. >> soviet union and system in eastern europe contained the seeds of its own destruction. many of the problems we saw at the end begin at the beginning. i spoke about the attempt to control all institutions, and control all parts of the economy and political life and social life. one of the problems is that when you do that, when you try to control everything, then you create opposition and potential dizzy dense everywhere. if you tell artists they have to paint the same way and one artist says i don't want to paint that way, you have just made him into a political dissident. >> if you want to subsidize
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housing, then put it on the balance sheet and make it clear and make it evident and make everybody aware of how much it's costing. but when you deliver it through these third party enterprises, fannie mae and freddie mac, when you deliver the subsidy through a public company with private shareholders, and executives who can extract a lot of that subsidy for themselves, that is not a very good way of subsidizing home ownership. >> a few of the 41 engaging stories in c-span's sunday at eight, now available at your favorite book seller. "washington journal" continues. host: joining us from chicago this morning is eugene o'donnell, a lecturer and former police officer for the new york police department. serving from 1982 to 1984. mr. o'donnell, what is the role of the police force ferguson,
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missouri? >> it's to try to engage the community and hopefully with community engagement, and we believe that's occurring on some level, peace can be maintained, order can be maintained. a small number of people are apparently traveling there to create havoc in the town, can be driven out and taken into custody. and there is long-term issue, many of them by the way are political issues. what we're seeing is really a collapse of civic society and a broken political system at that level, and really a lot of this conversation is about a broken political system throughout the country. host: we can talk more about it at large. what is the role of the national guard in ferguson, missouri? >> essentially give assistance and be there to assist with perimeters, but obviously this is all being done by the seat of
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about pants. there was not a tremendous amount of time to plan this. this is all contingency planning, from all accounts the proper focus remains on convincing the people and i don't think they need a lot of convincing in the community, that whatever damage has been done, that there is a need for justice to be done, but that only -- there can only be bad results from violence and damage, and if property is damaged businesses are hurt there. that could have an impact that would go on for decades. host: talk about all the different law enforcement presence on the ground in ferguson, missouri. you've got county police, you got the highway patrol. who are all of these -- what are all these police forces and how do they work together? >> we have 18,000 police departments in the country. we got state police, local police, county police, so it's all those folks coming together.
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that raises questions about chain of command, and we talk about crowd control, training is an issue, whether they've had expertise in doing it. that's usually the best indicator. you have to plan for every contingency. you have to plan for the long term, but you also have to actively engage because we saw this, we've seen it already in ferguson, we saw it at occupy wall street, the people that occupied wall street refused to allow, for the most part, people come in bent on hurting people. host: you got tomorrow as jackson, the ferguson police chief, captain ronald johnson, who is the missouri highway patrol. what is the chain of command? >> i'm not clear what the chain of command is. ultimately these are political issues. the governor inserted himself, properly. so there's a mix of police decisions being made and political decisions, and chain of command is a crucial
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question. as to what the division of labor is, and who can give orders, and we don't have a whole lot of experience, fortunately, in incorporating the national guard in in peacetime, so it's a process of learning and getting the balance right here is difficult. you can probably criticize the response at every level and be right, because it's difficult, the first night there was criticism of overreaction. that followed in short order with criticism of under reaction, where merchants were saying they felt unprotected. two best police departments in the country have both been tarnished by their own issues. lapd for not acting quick enough in mcarthur park, nypd in 2004 at the republican convention for being too aggressive. host: are you saying that you
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can't distinguish the chain of command in ferguson, missouri, or in general, is there just not a clear chain of command? >> in general, you're talking about a larger issue than a local police department can deal with. you're bringing in outside chain of command and how well prepared an organization is on paper is one issue and how well those plans come together in reality is another question. so some areas of the country there's probably very good coordination around civil disorder, some communities much less so. and all these plans are really only to be evaluated when you have to stand them up and make them work in realtime, and there is no victory lapse here, there is no winners here. you have to work on this minute to minute. you can have a good day followed by a bad day. and this takes a sustained focus and people get tired, and including the leadership, and you have to account for that. the longer it goes on, the more weary people are libel to become
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and you have to figure out how to bring fresh people in while maintaining, you know, command structure. host: what is the training like for the police force to deal with what we're seeing in ferguson, missouri, the aftermath of the shooting death of michael brown? >> it would vary greatly in this country. every department almost would have their own unique brand of training. some would be fairly sophisticated, some would be rudimentary, almost all would be adequate. we don't do a great job training the police in america. again, partially because we really don't want to come to grips with what they do, which is use force on people, and it's obviously a lot of other things, but the core competency that they get called on to do is use force in a brutal system that we own, and that we don't want to come to grips with that. a lot of police training will be -- will be basic, and in some
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cases, you know, nonexistent essential i had, and will not be hands on, will not give people particular skills, and even where they do the history of this is when you actually have to have a response that's when you -- that's when you can make a better assessment of how well people are trained. host: we're talking with eugene o'donnell a former new york police department officer and lecturer at john j. college of criminal justice joining us this morning for a discussion about the role of police in civil disturbances. there has been a lot of discussion about the militarization of police across this country. is the training available for the equipment that these police officers are receiving? >> well, there's real serious concerns about mill terryization of police and giving weaponry and whether there's oversight that's adequate, and if you only had a couple of hundred bad police departments in the
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country, that would be a today limb ma and something tells me you probably did out of 18,000, so there has to be oversight. but that can't be balanced with denial about reality. i'm sitting in chicago today at this very minute, there's a hostage situation in the suburbs. you have active shooter situations. you have the incident at 911 when i was in that city, and any new yorker will remember not knowing the scope of that attack and how long it will go on for, the events in boston. we have to reckon with the reality that the police chiefs i know are not dying to get their hands on weaponry. they're really conflicted over this. they have to be ready for eventuality, and the likelihood is the overreaction, under reaction criticism. we're spending a lot of time on the overreact side. there is another side about this, where police could be accused of not acting. host: let's get to phone calls. a fourth line this morning for law enforcement.
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(202)585-3883. barbara you're up first in connecticut, democratic caller. caller: hi. good morning. what i wanted to say is i don't quite understand why they would send in so much -- so many different -- so many different police officers. none of them seem to have too much training to be working with all of that heavy equipment. it just seems to wrong and, you know, it's like little boys, you know, so happy to put on helmets and have guns, and be on television, and they just look silly. and they're killing people and hurting people unnecessarily. they need to just not do this, just have the national guard, everybody else go, just have them, in case anything happens to work along with the local -- the local police. host: all right. >> we need to take i'd iology
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out of this conversation. it's a pragmatic conversation, a conversation about the law and what's necessary to do. and we have had had reports of police looking heavy-handed, but at the very same there were merchants claiming police were standing down and not protecting them.
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working perfectly, it seems you have a duty to tell us what can be done better in a practical way, not to deny the realities of what police have to deal with, which are many challenges and a difficult situation. in this situation, clearly people are coming to this town for the purpose of going head-to-head with police and get on cable for seven seconds and cause disruption. you have to grapple with this. times" putl.a. together this graphic
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this is from the "l.a. times. eugene o'donnell, do you have thoughts on that? guest: my thought is how did this happen? how did police get this equipment? was there not a process. i have seen elected officials say they -- washington allowed this to happen. they are washington. the reasons this is happening is serious issues law enforcement is confronted with, and some of , thes to do with a broken system. they are the architects -- criminal justice system. they are the architect. it is the street officers that
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will be blamed for these issues. we have to have owners -- ownership. the governor's statement, even the president -- the idea of pushing this down and making it a street police issued, we have a lot of fergusons in this country. we have a lot of disinvestment and denial about the situation on the ground and the any they will make this into a citizen-police interaction conversation, i find that disingenuous. host: eugene o'donnell, in your opinion, it is the lawmakers and the laws they have put on the books. >> --x --guest: absolutely. it is us. in many ways we want to say we are too good to run the system that we run that involves taking people's freedom, giving police a chance to take liberty, and we have a legislation factory in
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every state. government, more laws, more statutes, more opportunities for police to be in conflict with the people. the triggering incident in ferguson is two young people walking in the street. many of your viewers would be surprised to learn how many states have statutes like that to get police involved. we express or to find out -- horror to find out there are bad endings when you have these conflicts here at we want to make sure -- conflicts. we want to make sure the police make it better and using force could be done in a magic way where there is not bad endings. the only way to reduce these issues is for political leadership to lead and reduce the amount of conflict police are being thrust into, particularly in communities where the political leadership
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is so bankrupt, where people are not engaged, they are alienated, and the only services, often, are policing services. host: carterville, illinois. james. independent. caller: thank you for taking my call. on the last question of taking -- sending obama to ferguson, i say no because when it comes to race situations he has dumped fire on the situation. eric holder -- he is one of radicals. i do not think he wants to find solution and peace. host: ok, james. mr. --mr. o'donnell, do you have any thoughts on the attorney general had a day-to-day, and that the department of justice will do a parallel investigation along with the police force ?
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i think it is a nonpartisan failure. obviously justice should be done in this case to get in, push the responsibility down, deny how many situations we have like ferguson, and get out. every party, every single person that i am aware of across the political spectrum shares responsibility for that. is there anybody even pretending to have a plan in this country for how you engage people where you have such high rates of unemployment, failed education? this is an effort to turn away c-spanas, especially the audience, who are engaged, we have to talk about the need to and civicple, engagement, have people voting, have people being active. that is the root of this. elected officials seem to not want to own up to their
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ownership of this, and it would be perfectly acceptable for them to make as a patrol officer issue. enforcement a law official in pennsylvania. your thoughts. caller: good morning. .ood morning, mr. o'donnell i am retired from the nypd. i went on in 1962 and left as you are leaving in 1982, or 1984, when you came on. when i came on -- what is going on in ferguson is not new stuff. this has been generational. it began in the early 1960's. 1968, fergusonin or 20 situations. panthers,t only black the black liberation army, a lot of different groups looking to
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kill cops. we have to come to grips with the racial aspect of this. you, when can i ask you were in the police force, did you have trained to deal with race issues, racial sensitivity? common we use plain sense. you treated everyone like you wanted to be treated. that was a training we received, and it was effective. host: ok. eugene o'donnell. to thewe have to come realization that it is a problem. remember in this conversation begets extremism. this is not the police are never wrong or never right. this is trying to find a sensible middle ground where most people are but we do have to reckon with the fact that,
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you know, we have a society where the carryover in law enforcement, often is racism. i am hoping as the country gets more diverse and the younger generation comes along and people have mixed with people thoseent than themselves, edges will be muted and we can create a culture where officers themselves find it intolerant to engage in patterns of discrimination and bigotry, which would take us further along in creating law enforcement -- professional law enforcement. host: is training needed? guest: training is always needed. it is an extremely skilled job that calls for an extraordinary amounts of -- amount of capacity. you probably should have four years of training, or some such youg for the actual -- if make an inventory, especially in the big cities of what a cop can do in eight hours, it is
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staggering, and they can't take someone's life without any due process. we really have to -- and take -- take anyone's life without due process. we have to own this. do we want to spend the money. do we want to reimagine this? extremism, there are numbers of people that just wish he did not need the police, hope away the problems, that they are an outfit imposed on us. it is a distorted vision of reality. i get the point of people are unhappy to see scenes of violence and weaponry. cell phones are making us unhappy to see what police do in our name. it would be good if we took it to the next level and started initiating reforms in a nation that is so punitive and spent so
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much time blocking each other up. host: democratic caller. kenneth. centerville, alabama. caller: hi, how are you? host: good morning. caller: i am just an everyday joe. i am from chicago. now i reside here in alabama. i wonder if people realize that sometimes african-americans are just really tired of the police period? i have seen so many bad things in chicago. i understand they have a hard the but to strip people in streets, through people on the ground, step on people, and --ng a concerned citizen they tell the drug dealers that you called them. host: i'm sorry, ken. i thought you were finished. eugene o'donnell? is a concern you hear a lot, but the only answer
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to democracy is to be involved, participate, said and -- sit and and disown our responsibility -- that is not an answer to anything. police are in the middle of conflicting demands all the time. we hear about brutality and overreach while at the same time in many places millions of americans, the number one complaint about police is they cannot get their attention, they cannot get them to come and take care of their issues. they have been awake for two years because of noise, and no one will engage the issue. you need to know that if you have a noise complaint, you bring the police, and if police their radioto lower and they do not do it, that is the issue for policing. what say you when somebody refuses to do that? police could talk to them nicely, police could cajole
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them. in many cases, police could overlook it, but that is an issue where you might have to have enforcement, and are you willing to own that? do you want to have a conversation in which denial, you know, is what you want to say? this is an issue that we see a lot, where police officers do the very best they can -- not all of them, but a lot -- to get people to acquiesced to lawful authority -- to the many laws that we take -- make that are made by lawmakers, and if the theon says you are under -- policeman says you are under arrest in the person says i'm not coming, what say you? -- how policeline trained to stop a threat. in this article they say shooting multiple times a day suspect is not unusual. guest: yes, because the only reason to fire a weapon is it
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your life hangs in the balance, for the most part, in a professional police environment. if you are in a life or death struggle what you believe you're going to die, how many shots would you fire in that circumstance? as a prosecutor, i investigated but sometimesgs, what you are worried about -- this will sound terrible -- it -- youfficult balance would be saying the officer felt he was eminently going to die and fired one shot? basic shootingy skills. they miss a lot. we really do not want to turn the police into marine snipers. they are our neighbors. they are ordinary civilian people. you want to give them basic competency. police officers shoot sometimes, and when they do hit, they hit multiple times and those people
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are still able to kill the police. we need to say in a city like new york, where there has been recent criticism of an in custody arrest, that the record in that city and many other places is extraordinary police restraint. 35,000 police officers, perhaps as few as 50 shootings a year you aboutsaries, and every single case the person is on been brandishing a weapon. host: florida. shannon. republican caller. caller: as i was watching the leaders and everything, why taxt the police not use die s things that do not wash off, so they can catch the people, and do not have to worry about every hunting them right
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then and there and sending police officers to their death by sending them into a mob situation like that where they would have to use live ammunition? host: ok, eugene o'donnell? more: we need to be much creative in using technology to take less risk, making situations less adversarial. people talk about the military and how it can be bad to get equipment from the military. the military is apparently spearheading nonlethal weaponry, which is at the -- should be at the top of the list. get us a weapon the police can use that will disable the person who can stand up 30 seconds later after they are in custody. it is unbelievable in this high-tech society in this late year 2014 that we are still using firearms that are lethal to bring people into custody to be brought before the bar of justice. host: rick, massachusetts.
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independent caller. caller: good morning. difficulties i see is when police were taken out of the neighborhoods, and off the beat, where they got to know the young people -- little johnny started messing up when he was eight, the police officer could snatch him up by the year and explained to him what he was doing wrong. in my town, all the police officers, there are only two that live here. they do not know the citizenry and the citizenry does not know them. you could basically tell a police officers attitude based on their haircut -- if it is high and tight, military style, they are more apt to cause problems. it is not just the police's responsibility, but the citizens responsibility. that is number one. number two, i believe that the grievance industry with some
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people into violence and anger based on the individual's desire to get press. two examples right off the bat -- al sharpton and jesse jackson. they are in ferguson raising all kinds of cane and hell over one tragic shooting. there is not a word being said about all the murders in chicago. i think it is individuals like those and others who are whipping up the violence in these crowds. host: ok. mr. --mr. o'donnell. guest: we need to worry about the murders in chicago, we can do both without ideology. we have a murder problem in chicago. we have to face that. legitimizing the police and building a good rapport with communities will be a win-win for the country. i do not mean to say that you are extremist, but it is these
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extremist thoughts -- this either/or or sidekick -- real american -- side-taking. real american law enforcement pledges to do both equally. we can have a police force that is respectful and engages these issues, but it would really be helpful to us as a country if we look at the footprint of the police, which in many communities is far too big, they are over-task, and we confronted some of the issues -- for example, mental health. some of the worst issues were people have had to deal with, shootings were people die, are the direct result of abject failure of people to step up, have a reliable, -- have a reliable infrastructure. we do not want to fund it. we do not want to confront it. we allow the police to be mental health providers, and we profess to be shocked when we send
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police officers armed with weapons -- the very worst idea you can think of, to assist people in emotional and mental health crisis. host: we are talking to eugene o'donnell, former police department official in new york a professor of criminal justice. on august 9, the day of the whating of michael brown, stands out to you about him being pulled over, from the beginning to the end, to the fatal shot of michael brown? guest: i do not alternately know how the facts will come down, so it is hard to talk about this, sort of, salad. we have not heard the officers account. i think this dynamic -- this somebody dying, it gets the attention, and it should, because it is a human life, but the underlying causes i have -- the fact is
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been around the country. if you see the disinvestment and the despair in many communities, the alien, the 50% unemployment rate, the overaggressive criminal justice system, the stigma and humiliation that that cells to people -- a jail is always available where as investment in humans is not. i lament that this is a terrible passing of a human life, and i also have to say immediately that i predict there will be a focus on the police issues exclusively, relative to the much larger issues because we are in a country where there is no plan for fergusons and to engage those things of any party. we need to take the ideology out of this. these are larger issues than taking a party. -- we need to
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look in the mirror because it is really about ourselves. again, we own this brutal system of ours. we do everything we can to not acknowledge that -- this system that incarcerates, this system that is based on force, and based on, essentially, a system that ends up incarcerating a lot of minority people. we need to own that. it is not the police by and large doing this in a vacuum. it is our engagement for lack thereof causing these conditions. don, youlor, michigan, on the air with eugene o'donnell. caller: thank you, c-span. thank you, greta. mr. o'donnell, i am originally from wyandotte. to this day, i do not think they have ever shot or anyone has been killed by the wyandotte
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police. i agree with the man from massachusetts. they have to be from the city. i have police officers in my neighborhood that used to stop to talk to us as kids and police officers and said this is our neighborhood, our city. he never harassed us. officer bernie. five friends, older and younger, they became cops because they felt good about delays. one of them became a man. man.s such a good that is what it is -- not being from the city. there is no connection when you hire someone from outside of the city or another state. you have no connection with the people there. host: all right, don. eugene o'donnell? guest: we have to stop police bashing across the public spectrum. it is a public service.
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unless you do not want to have police -- i think most recognize you have to have police. i teach in a school. many of our students will be police officers. do we want the people to go into this profession? do we want to make public service something people worthwhile? as much as i am criticizing politicians, i cringe when i hear people say all politicians are corrupt. that is just not true. we have great elected officials of conscience across the political spectrum, and regrettably, because the system is to some extent dysfunctional, you wonder how many good people in this country would run for office if it was a more functional system, and a parallel to that is i think every day we lose good people that want to be police officers for the right reasons who say i'm not going to go into this job because no matter what i do i will be credit sized. particular -- criticized, and
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particularly because policing is overwhelmingly done in minority communities. again, let's accept ownership. why is that the case? host: eugene o'donnell, do you think it matters the very few of the police officers on the ferguson force are african-american? guest: it is better to have a representative group of people, all things being equal, but the larger question is having people that are there for the right reasons, motivated well. understand, ferguson, not to minimize the complexities, the salaries are uncompetitive relative to other places, it is hard to keep people, and that is a common phenomenon in law enforcement. you get good people, and they do not want to stay. they go to greener pastures. david. california. republican caller. caller: hello. host: you're on the air. inler: i want to say back
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1997 with the lapd, the bank robbery, the reason why police are more militarized now is because the lapd force was outmanned by automatic weapons, so people try to figure out why our police are looking like no terry -- it is because -- military -- it is because of that reason. now, later on, we have to figure out more and more, they are looking like militaries, right? a racial issue because it does not matter if if're black, white, asian, you are a criminal, you are a criminal, and that is the bottom line. host: eugene o'donnell, your thoughts? robbery, that bank police were forced to go to gun stores in real time. fortunately we have never had
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something like that happen again. you do not want to take one event and blow it out of proportion. there is a danger of over-equipping police, giving them camouflage, changing the mindset. we need to realize that it is a complex issue, police a to be ready and use the events of boston where combat was done in the streets. we do not have a domestic unit. a police officer was killed in boston, i do not hear a lot of people talking about that, in the course of those events, when they minimize the risk to people. police have to be ready for contingencies that could be carried to an extreme, and there has to be local control of the police. some of these swat teams in small towns -- they really cannot be adequate -- with a part-time council of two people, you cannot have adequate control. it is very nuanced. we have to get into the weeds,
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see where these things are needed, make our best judgments, but denial and overstatement are the enemies here to try to make rational decisions about what we should be doing in a free society. host: rick on twitter says police forming a wall against citizens was bad optics -- it fostered a them versus us mentality when cops are to protect the citizens. bob. independent caller. indiana. caller: yes, good morning. host: good morning. caller: i would like to make two points. initially, the police were not law enforcement officers. they were peace officers, and their job was to keep the peace. they moved from these officers to law enforcement officers, and that places them at a position where, in support of the law, they are placed against the communities. another point that i would like to make is the refusal of law
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federal, state, down to local, because of camaraderie among officers to police themselves. when a swat team hits the wrong house, the first thing they do is move to protect those officers, rather -- host: bob, got your point. eugene o'donnell? that this thison sends on us from somewhere unknown, i have not seen lawmakers repealing the laws and thousands of them. yes, there are issues. sometimes a cohesive police force, well-trained, well-disciplined, with the right motives can be essential. there is a problem in police culture -- lawyer culture, medical culture, or people look
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after each other. that is an ongoing issue that you have to confront. "usa today" had this front page story yesterday about the national guard being called up the governor there, and you were quoted as saying "it is the worst scenario." why? guest: said it shames our country because of the failure to confront the underlying issues. i was referencing the collapse of a civic society. that is what that tells you, that the alienation levels are so high and there is such a lack of political will and creativity to engage the underlying issues, we are going in the exact wrong direction, literally militarizing a civic society issue. andre using the military, that 98% of this debate


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